I was born as the Second World War ended so I could not reasonably have expected, that over seventy years later, young Britons would view the beaches and great cities of Europe as holiday or work destinations. Nor did I imagine that German, French and English would be openly spoken in cafes and bars amongst colleagues and friends without fear.
No longer do we kill each other with muskets and sabres or tanks and bombers. Instead, and almost always imperfectly, we struggle in the conference rooms of Brussels and Strasbourg with paper (lots of paper), pens and computers to fashion a Europe that will continue to ensure peace and improve the wellbeing of its citizens. I have participated in such meetings, and progress can sometimes only painfully be achieved.